Ronnie is 42 years old and lives in Bingham-on-Sea, a rundown seaside town. He cuts a lonely figure, working in the lost property office at the bus station and sometimes cleaning the buses – and seemingly without having any friends. He visits his GP, Dr Sterling, far too often and lives with only his father’s ashes for company.
Then one day, he ends up at a dog rescue centre and despite initially having no intention to rehome a dog, he is persuaded to foster an ugly little thing called Hamlet.
The humour seems a bit silly initially (Ronnie claims to have lost his shadow), but as you get into the book more, you appreciate its poignancy. I especially loved the dialogue between Ronnie and his dad. There are some wonderful other characters too, such as Harriet and Cate. It also highlights how many people are lonely, for a variety of reasons – working by themselves, living alone, being widowed or single, etc.
I really loved this book and read it over a couple of days. You really feel for Ronnie and little Hamlet and can see how they benefit from each other and how much having Hamlet has a knock-on effect for Ronnie, as he begins getting out more and meeting more people.
I would definitely be interested in reading more from this author.
‘Hits that sweet spot between being properly funny and gut-punchingly emotional’ – Sun
Ronnie has resigned himself to a life of loneliness.
His life in the crumbling seaside town of Bingham-on-Sea never seemed that bad, but since the loss of his father, the highlights of Ronnie’s solitary days include manning the lost property office at the bus station where he works, and plaguing his local GP with increasingly outlandish ailments. Forgotten or underestimated by all those around him, Ronnie is lost, and he’s not expecting to be found.
But when a chance encounter leads Ronnie to reluctantly foster Hamlet, an unwanted stray dog, his empty days begin to fill with all manner of new responsibilities and experiences.
Can these two lost souls help each other to find a new lease of life?
‘Reading it made me want to dance. An absolute gem of a book’ – Katie Marsh